Science: Shockproof Rats

Rats mislike loud noises, as many a laboratory worker knows. And a shrill noise may throw them into something like an epileptic fit. This elementary experiment has long served as an introduction to the study of fear. Last week, however, some very contradictory rat findings were reported in Science by a Johns Hopkins psychologist, William J. Griffiths Jr.

Griffiths noticed that the noise experiment has always been performed on sheltered laboratory rats. For his own tests, he hunted down more than 100 wild rats in Baltimore alleys and warehouses, caged them and gave...

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